MacBook: Final thoughts

by Volker Weber


After less than a week with the MacBook I am back on the iBook. I can keep it another week, but I have already switched back. There is only one reason for doing this: The iBook runs much cooler. I never pushed the MacBook to full speed. Surfing the web, writing texts, and similar tasks don't wake up the CPU. But still it was getting too hot for my liking.

In any other respects this has been the nicest notebook I have ever used. I love the design, the screen, the keyboard, the magnetic connector to the power supply, just everything. I wish Apple would provide a proper display connector so that you don't have to (buy and) carry an adapter, but this is my only gripe.

The MacBook does fall off the edge of a wireless network and its trackpad once in a while briefly hangs. I can live with that, but not with the excessive heat. Your mileage may vary, especially if you always put the MacBook on a flat table.

As much as I adore the new design, I am going to stick it out with my iBook until Apple releases a second revision. I am hoping that they move to the Merom (Core Duo 2) processor by then.


Do you really think that a Merom MacBook will run cooler?

Matthias Bolten, 2006-07-06

As you said: somebody else's mileage may vary. I, too, don't put too heavy a load on the MacBook's CPU, so I have to take my experiences with a grain of salt, but even in the heat of last friday's afternoon, on a platform of Dortmund's Hauptbahnhof, where I had to keep my MacBook on my lap, I didn't burn myself.

This, of course, means that there are some inconsistencies in Apple's quality control...

Since I already paid for my MacBook, I will stick with it. ;-)

Konstantin Klein, 2006-07-06

The excess heat is my reason not to buy one, as well.

This is a bit surprising. I had expected that those new Intel cpus would be just as cool as the Centrinos.

Hanno Müller, 2006-07-06

Hanno's comment brings up a question: is this a general Core Duo problem or is it bad/wrong design by Apple? Did they prefer silence to cooling? I never heard of similar problems with other Core Duo based notebooks like e.g. current Thinkpads.

Oliver Regelmann, 2006-07-06

I am a bit surpised, that, even though you made more or less nothing, the machine went so hot. Are you sure, it had the newest bios? Sometimes a newer bios brings an enhanced power management and that lowers the heat. Sometimes only, of curse.

Martin Pilo, 2006-07-06

Mileage seems to vary. My white MacBook runs warm, somewhat less warm without the charger plugged in, but not hot. Not warm enough to cook eggs in my lap (lame German-English pun).

I saw a report about a new mainboard revision for MacBooks, maybe my MacBook is new enough (build-to-order, shipped last week) is new enough to have newer components.

Scott Hanson, 2006-07-06

Maybe something else is wrong with "my" machine/setup. I am starting to lose wireless connections several times an hour. In clear sight of the access point.

Volker Weber, 2006-07-06

One thing I noticed was that the drop-outs in our former office seem to happen more frequently when both PowerBooks happened to use the WiFi-connection. With just one PB using WiFI the drop-outs seemed to happen less frequently or not at all. Could that also be the case in your environment, Volker?

Moritz Schroeder, 2006-07-07

I am surrounded by networks. No chance to turn all of those devices off. :-)

Since the MacBook dropped off the network every few minutes yesterday, I am doing a fresh install. The OS may have inherited something from the iBook that it does not like.

Volker Weber, 2006-07-07

Didn't mean to switch off all networks or all devices ;-). You have shown numerous times the impressive list of wifi-networks in your neighbourhood.

I meant two or more Apple devices using their airport Wifi to connect to one Wifi network.
Of course using only one wireless Apple device at the time is not a solution, I am just interested to find out if this is somehow a bug of MacOS (or a firmwarebug of Powerbook or MacBook Airport adapters), when several airports have to share one (non-Apple) access point...

Moritz Schroeder, 2006-07-07

No, a second Apple notebook does not make a difference.

The fresh install did not help at all. I flattened the hard disk, installed from the DVDs that came with the machine, let it do its update. Now it is still losing the connection, anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, within 10 meters of the access point.

Volker Weber, 2006-07-07

I got a new Macbook Pro a couple weeks ago..... love it. Ain't going back...... still testing Parallels - running SLES/SLED 10 pre-releases, Windows XP, servers.

Haven't burned an iMovie DVD, which takes quite a while - soccer games (futbol?), did one last year of three high school football games.. both of these took many hours to render and burn on an older Powerbook and iMac. Looking forward to these on the Macbook Pro.

It is hot.... I can live with that. Doesn't bother me unless it's against bare skin. Then it's a little hot. But as a side benefit, I live in Minnesota. This thing is going to be GREAT this winter!!!!!!!!!

Jon Johnston, 2006-07-09

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